Tyler James Dufrene
7/13/96 - 5/30/2014
The dash between those two dates was only 17 years and 10 months, but Tyler touched so many lives in that short time with us on earth. Tyler was the baby of the family with 3 older sisters and was very spoiled. Tyler was the uncle to Shayleigh, Jorden and Sookie and he was always playing around in the yard, kicking the soccer ball with them or chasing them with masks on to make them scream. Tyler's smile was very contagious and would light up a room when he walked in. He loved to hunt, fish, skate board, play baseball and softball.
He couldn't wait for Tuesday nights to play basketball with his friends at Gheens Community Center. Tyler would park his truck in front of the center by the road and pick on the people as they came in from work.When his best friend, Justin, would pass - Tyler would follow him home so they could work out together (they needed to look good for the girls, you know!) At the age of 15 years old, Tyler got his driver's license and - on his own -decided to become an organ donor. Little did we know that 2 years later, we would lose him on his graduation night to an impaired driver who crossed the center lane, hitting him head on. Being that Tyler was a minor at the time, it was left up to his dad and me to make the final decision to donate his organs. But, knowing the type of person that Tyler was, if he could help someone, he would...so, we went ahead and donated his organs, eyes, tissue and bones. He now lives on through:
Savannah Smith - Liver Recipient
Heidi Jones - Lung Recipient
Dino Griffin - Heart Recipient
Carolyn Rogers - Kidney & Pancreas Recipient
So far, that is all we have been able to meet, but we are hoping to meet the rest.
Since Tyler's story, so many people have told me that they went to the DMV and put that little red heart on their driver's license to be an organ donor. He is still making a difference in people's lives today. Tyler was - and will always be - my HERO! Forever in our hearts...
- Angela, MOM